July 8, 2011 Subject:
Take her up and give her all she's got!
Formula test pilots yarn. The mostly predictable plot is compensated for by good performances and okay aerial cinematography, real and simulated. (There's a quick peek at the 247, Boeing's first successful airliner which was quickly eclipsed by the much more successful Douglas DC-3.) The script avoids most of the sappiness endemic in many '30s and early '40s aviation flicks. Adequate second-feature production values. Stars Richard Arlen, Jean Parker and Don Castle, supported by Roger Pryor, Helen Mack, Cliff Edwards and others. Entertaining even if you almost always know what happens next.
Scratchy print with otherwise good image quality. It's complete except for some missing frames. Mostly okay audio.
NOTABLE TEST PILOT FLICKS: "Breaking the Sound Barrier," "Dive Bomber," "The First of the Few" (available at IA), "Decision Against Time," "Test Pilot," "Q Planes" (available at IA), plus two which don't quite fit the mold, "No Highway in the Sky" and "China Clipper."